Seyyed Hassan Khomeini visits family of assassinated General Soleimani

Seyyed Hassan Khomeini visits family of assassinated General Soleimani

Seyyed Hassan Khomeini has visited the family of General Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated by the US in Iraq.

The grandson of the late founder founder of the Islamic Republic presented condolences to all family members of martyr General Soleimani.

President Hassan Rouhani earlier said that difficult times would be coming for America as a result of the killing of Soleimani and that the story of Iran as a nation would have been very different without him. 

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has already visited the home of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), who was assassinated in a US airstrike in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

During the meeting on Friday, Ayatollah Khamenei expressed his condolences to Soleimani's family over the assassination.

The Leader said Soleimani "had been faced with martyrdom several times but he feared no one and nothing" in the path of fulfilling his duties and fighting enemies.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that Soleimani was martyred by the "most vicious individuals in the world," a clear reference to the White House tenants.

The Leader wished patience for Soleimani's family and all Iranians and hailed the move by people who took to the streets in several cities across the country to express their anger and condolences over the assassination.

Iranian demonstrators, in their hundreds of thousands, called for revenge.

General Solemani along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were assassinated during the early hours of Friday. Four other Iranians and four other Iraqis in their company were also martyred. Friday's attack on Baghdad airport, authorized by US President Donald Trump, signaled a major escalation in a Middle East "shadow war" between Iran and the United States and American allies, mainly Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In the capital Tehran, tens of thousands of people attending the Friday prayers held a rally after the event, carrying signs that warned the United States, Israel and their regional allies of harsh consequences.

Following Soleimani's assassination, Ayatollah Khamenei said those who assassinated the IRGC Quds Force commander must await a harsh revenge.

Soleimani, a 62-year-old general, was Tehran's most prominent military commander and the architect of its spreading influence in the Middle East.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the “cruelest people on earth” assassinated the “honorable” commander who “courageously fought for years against the evils and bandits of the world.”

An elaborate procession to mourn Soleimani, Muhandis and the others began in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Saturday.

It will proceed by car to the holy city of Karbala and end in Najaf, another sacred city where Muhandis and the other Iraqis killed will be buried.

Soleimani's body will be transferred to the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan that borders Iraq, then on Sunday, January 5, to the holy city of Mashhad in the northeast and from there to the capital Tehran and on to his hometown Kerman in the southeast for burial on Tuesday, January 7, Iranian state media reported.

Meanwhile, the remains of anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and his companions have arrived in the southern Iranian city of Ahvaz from Iraq where they were assassinated by the US early Friday. 

A massive funeral procession is currently underway in Ahvaz, the main city in Iran's eight-year battle against the forces of the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein which shaped Soleimani's future as an austere military tactician.

People hold posters of Iranian commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraq's anti-terror figurehead  Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at a funeral procession in Ahvaz, southern Iran on Jan. 5, 2020. (Photo by Tasnim) 

From Ahvaz, the cortege will be heading to the holy city of Mashhad in Iran’s northeast later in the day and from there to Tehran on Monday and finally to his hometown Kerman in the southeast for burial on Tuesday.

Tagging along are the remains of Gen. Soleimani's trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), being carried for DNA testing in Tehran because some pieces have possibly been mixed up. After testing, Muhandis' remains will be returned to Najaf for burial. 

Both Soleimani and Muhandis were popular figureheads in helping squelch an ominous rise of Daesh which once came as close as 30 km to Baghdad, while the US withdrew troops from Iraq and looked on.

Images of the Iranian commander along with Iraqi fighters at frontlines as the ferocious battle against Daesh terrorists went on are endearingly etched in the minds of many Iraqis.

Their massive turnout in Saturday’s funeral is both a testimony to Soleimani’s popularity among many Iraqis and a message to the US which made its stay in the Arab country more unwelcome with the extrajudicial killing, observers said.

In all, 10 people -- five Iraqis and five Iranians -- were assassinated in the US strike on their motorcade just outside Baghdad airport as Gen. Soleimani’s flight arrived from Syria, leading to speculations that the Israeli intelligence might have played a role.

The assassination has triggered a wave of outrage among Iranians and Iraqis, and further aligned the two neighbors with vociferous calls for revenge for what they view as "state terrorism."

People rally at a funeral procession for Iranian commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraq's anti-terror figurehead  Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Ahvaz, southern Iran on Jan. 5, 2020. (Photo by Tasnim) 

Hundreds of thousands of people, chanting "Death to America and "Death to Israel," held funeral processions for the two commanders and their companions in Baghdad and the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf on Saturday.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Iraqi commander Hadi al-Amiri, the top candidate to succeed Muhandis, senior cleric Ammar al-Hakim and other important figures accompanied the the large crowd of mourners.

Ameri and many other Iraqi leaders have called on all factions in Iraq to unite and expel foreign troops.

Many Iraqis condemned the US assassination, praising General Soleimani for his role in defeating Daesh terrorists who seized large swathes of north and central Iraq in 2014.

"It is necessary to take revenge on the murderers. The martyrs got the prize they wanted - the prize of martyrdom,” said one of the Iraqi marchers, Ali al-Khatib.

Gen. Soleimani, 62, was Tehran’s pre-eminent military commander and - as head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s overseas Quds Force - the architect of Iran’s anti-terror campaign and fight against American and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. 

On Friday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei vowed to retaliate and said Gen. Soleimani’s assassination would intensify Iran's resistance to the United States and Israel.

Read more:

Remains of Gen. Soleimani arrive in Iran for cross-country funeral

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